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September 14, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 14, 1994

i £irbigau Dalig

'To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal oppo-
sition.'
--Woody Allen

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan

Jessie Hallada
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein
Flint Wainess

A Tale of
Three
Caribbean

Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

The iproved Dbg policy
While flaws remain, the Diag is free again

O.-. WON'T T- r- PEATH PNAL-T-y.. YOU CANT JrST KILL
OFF TH ElAIN CHAIACTER LJKr. TAT- Y.T 'RUINS
THE C PLO-CC
Keep the cit out of the country

The Diag policy, formally known as the
' "Scheduled Use of the University of Michi-
gan Designated Outdoor Common Areas"
policy, is the document charged with policing
the use of the Diag, Ingalls Mall and the North
Campus Commons Area. In effect since early
1993, the policy was riddled with unreason-
hble provisions preventing students from,
Among other things, spontaneously gathering
on the Diag, chalking the Diag and even step-
ping on the grass during events. This summer,
however, saw the culmination of over a year of
active student protest against the Diag policy,
as it was significantly improved by a commit-
tee of students and administrators. While the
new policy, still laden with unreasonable regu-
lations, is far from perfect, it is at least reason-
able.
Undoubtedly, a policy with specific details
is needed to ensure that the Diag is not mis-
used. Restrictions on powered amplification
are designed to ensure that no group may
interfere with classes in adjacent buildings and
that there are not multiple concurrent rallies
using loud speakers. The ban on recklessly
built shanties or those in which a person could
hide are wisely implemented to protect ob-
servers. However, the list of needed provisions
stops here.
Under the original Diag policy, it was for-
bidden for students to hold spontaneous pro-
test gatherings or even chalk messages on the
cement. The new policy correctly reverses
those rules, allotting more hours for gatherings
and an elimination of any waiting period for
groups not soliciting donations or requiring
University equipment or electrical power.
Thankfully, the new policy also does away
with the bizarre banning of chalking on the
Diag.
Also noteworthy is the fact that student
inputwas considered in draftingthe newpolicy.

01

Because several students worked with a Uni-
versity committee to propose a new draft, the
committee received the student perspective
- something that is often lost on the admin-
istration.
Of course, the new draft is not perfect.
There are several questionable details that
remain in the policy. The most obvious one
concerns the cleanup deposit almost directly
aimed at the National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which
conducts the annual Hash-Bash rally on the
Diag. Under this provision, any organization
must be prepared to pay for damages, or clean
up costs, that their event incurs on the Diag-
and put up a deposit before the event. This rule
is based on the faulty premise that it is
NORML's financial responsibility, or the fi-
nancial responsibility of any organization
sponsoring an event, that thousands of people
trample the Diag to attend their event. If an
organization stages a protest on the Supreme
Court steps and individuals supporting that
group's message causes some damage to the
lawn outside the building, that organization is
hardly held financially responsible. The Uni-
versity should have learned by now that petty
attempts to purge NORML, and their yearly
pot-fest, from campus are futile.
With the cooperative atmosphere fos-
tered by the recent policy review, it is hopeful
that the Diag policy will be one that both
students and the administration can live with:
one that protects spontaneous free-speech,
and allows for the safe and constructive gath-
ering of activists.
This is the third in a five part edito-
rial series explaining changes in
various University policies that
occurred over the summer.

By Jordan Stanchl
Is bigger really better? It's
one of the great unanswered
questions, whether the subject
at issue is sex, government or
business. The desirability of big
institutions in our society has
been at issue since the earliest
days of the Republic. Should
society be planned on a large
scale or should the individual
be left to his own devices?
In the matter of the physical
development of our society, the
trend since World War II has
been toward consolidation. The
great and sprawling suburbs,
where virtually everyone now
lives, don't seem to have room
for the small developer. Gone
is the public city street, on which
an individual small shopkeeper
can peddle his wares. This more
Jeffersonian style ofconmmerce
has been replaced by the ugli-
ness of the strip mall or, worse,
some huge sprawling affair, the
parking lot of which equals the
size of many small communi-
ties. It seems that America has
repudiated any trace of concern
for what Woodrow Wilson
called "the man on the make,"
the little guy.
But not everyone lives in
the anonymous suburbs. Rural

America, removed from the
freeways and parking struc-
tures which perch like cancer-
ous tumors on our cities, has
functioned as the last outpost
of spaciousness. Thus have
small towns turned their lack
of population into an asset.
One of the best examples of
rural space is northwest
Michigan's Lake Michigan
shoreline. The area between
Charlevoix and Petoskey, for
instance, is one of the most
naturally beautiful areas in the
country. The only way to drive
between the two towns is on a
two-lane highway character-
ized by extremely unrushed
traffic. It's a welcome break
from the hurried pace of any
city.
But now, predictably
enough, a great portion of this
area will become victim to a
major real estate development,
billed as the "Hilton Head of
the Midwest." This project, to
be developed by an Oakland
County firm, will be so large
that it will double the popula-
tion of Petoskey.
The first problem with this
development is its name, Bay
Harbor, which is rather obvi-
ously synthetic (the two words
mean almost exactly the same
thing). Even assuming that

small towns are completely
without value, the one benefit
to them is that their names are
not synthetic; they never have
the words "park," "hills," or
"pointe."
There also are environmen-
tal concerns. One state health
official has expressed concerns
about the surrounding area's
ability to handle the septic sys-
tems of such a huge develop-
ment that close to Lake Michi-
gan. But these concerns were
not addressed or investigated
and the development will go on
as planned. Of course, that's to
be expected in a society where
most people think we need more
Hilton Heads.
As a resident of northern
Michigan, I am keenly aware
of the region's deficiencies. But
the area also has assets; first
among these is authenticity. It's
important to have someplace
where there aren't any Bay
Harbors. Last year, when
Petoskey was listed as "one of
the 100 best small towns in
America," a resident there re-
marked to me that it would be
better if it had been on the list of
worst towns. That way it
wouldn't be so attractive to big
developers. At the time I
thought he was naive. I don't
anymore.

Is lands
I had been anticipating some
problems with the current manifes-
tations of U.S. policy toward Cuba.
The schizophrenia has been rea-
sonably well acknowledged by the
foreign press-Castro used to be a
very bad man, said Uncle Sam,
because he wouldn't allow people
to leave Cuba, and now Castro is a
very bad man because he is allow-
ing people to leave Cuba. The slight-
est attendance to logic would pro-
vide the most casual reader with at
least a moment's cognitive disso-
nance. But not in the Orwellian
world of the freely controlled press.
The New York Times, the Wash-
ington Post, even the Ann Arbor
News, had no problem with the
instructions from the commissar.
Castro had "created" a new prob-
lem because he was doing exactly
what we had criticized him for not
doing last year. Two plus two is
five. Say it a thousand times. 4
In neighboring Haiti the task
has not been much easier. The na-
ively logical may wonder why the
United States has so much trouble
supporting a man who won an elec-
tion with a larger majority than any
president in the hemisphere. But
such innocents do not understand
the rules of the game. Democracy4
does not simply mean elections, it
means the right side wins. As a
famous U.S. politician once said, I
don't care who wins the election, as
long as I get to do the nominating.
President Aristide represented the
interests of the poor, which were
very much at odds with the interests
of the rich, who most naturally
shared the interests of those who
own the ruling party of the United
States. So the real problem is how
to reinstall the U.S. system in Haiti.

1

Ms. Ireland is wronged

Stancil is an LSA junior

The University made news long before
football season this year when images of
LSA sophomore Jennifer Ireland and her
daughter Maranda appeared on the national
news and in newspapers across the country.
The national coverage focused on the far-
reaching implications of a Macomb County
Circuit Court decision that awarded custody of
Ireland's daughter to Steven Smith, the child's
father. Judge Raymond R. Cashen declared the
parents equal in all respects but one: Ireland is
a student and must enroll Maranda in day care,
while Smith's mother does not work outside
the home and could care for the child. Ireland
is appealing the decision. The case involves
many issues, but the judge's attack on day care
sparked a nationwide controversy.
The case inspired anger from many
women's groups and fear in many working
parents with its implication that mothers who
work or invest in their education are not fit to
care for their children. The judge's logic seems
especially warped in light of the developmen-
tal studies which have shown that quality day
care is not detrimental to children. In many
cases, day care benefits the child.
A mother who works or goes to school to
further her education also imparts other ben-
efits to her children. According to the Leader-
ship Council of the University's Center for the
Education ofWomen, many childrenofwomen
the Center has helped have gone on to college
themselves because their mothers were edu-
cated and obtained better jobs. "Advanced
education for women pays off for many gen-
erationsby ensuring economic self-sufficiency
and raising the nationalstandard of livin."

Ireland.
The judge's decision also makes the same
fatal mistake as many other recent custody
cases, failing to take into account that Ireland
is the only parent 3-year old Maranda has ever
known. A parent who has cared for a child for
three years and one who makes only occa-
sional visits are not equal and should not be
considered equal in such cases. Surely, there
must be an interest more compelling than day
care before a child is forced to move to a new
and unknown surrounding.
This is not the first time the eyes of the
nation have focused on an Ann Arbor child.
Two years ago, a distraught and crying Jessica
DeBoer was taken from her adoptive parents.
But at least the DeBoer case rose complex
questions about fathers' rights and the adop-
tion process. No such questions arise in the
case of a mother who loses custody of her
child simply because the mother wanted a
better life for herself and her child.
Strangely, the conservatives who ap-
plauded the decision have put themselves in
the position of advocating welfare mother-
hood. If Ireland had stayed home with her
daughter, welfare may have been her only
viable choice.
Instead, she chose to further her education
and ensure a future for herself and her daugh-
ter which would not include welfare or the
poverty whichoften characterizes single moth-
ers and their children.
Jennifer Ireland should be rewarded for
this choice rather than punished, and the ap-
peals court should overturn Judge Cashen's
decision and the flawed logic and outdated

Cigarette filters should be taxed like soda cans

To the Daily:
There are few habits that
are more repugnant than smok-
ing cigarettes. In recent years
we have been buried in statis-
tics about the harmful side-af-
fects that second hand smoke
can cause innocent bystanders,
and have banded together in an
attempt to save ourselves from
these self-destructive addicts.
But there is one aspect of this
vile form of fire worship that
has gotten very little attention,
the ubiquitous brown and white
filters that litter our streets. Once
in a while the rain clears the
sidewalks, but that simply dis-
places them, it does not remove
them.
Here is the solution: place a
two and a half cent refund on all
cigarette butts. Smokers will
have to pay an extra fifty cents

per pack and will voice their
discontent, but they will pay.
because they are addicted and
have little choice. The imple-
mentation of a cash incentive
will give some people second
thoughts about casually flick-
ing their finished smokes onto
the sidewalk. It will also aid in
the removal of butts already
out there because there are al-
ways people in need of some
extra cash. One hundred and
twenty butts would equal a free
new pack of coffin nails for the
lucky collector. We all feel for
the homeless in our commu-
nity - this would be an excel-
lent opportunity for them to
earn a few quick dollars.
Whomever gets to East Engi-
neering first could easily make
over twenty dollars for an hours
worth of work.

There is also an important
environmental reason to get
these paper-covered pieces of
styrofoam off of our streets and
grass: they do not biodegrade.
That means that they need to be
disposed of properly or they
will continue to impair our abil-
ity to enjoy our surroundings.
Bringing them to a proper facil-
ity for disposal will ensure that
they will not cause nature any
more harm.
The University has spent
huge amounts of money to make
our campus more aesthetically
pleasing. Let's continue the
trend towards cleanliness and
beauty by adventing a system
of filter removal on our cam-
pus.

First, of course, was to make
sure that there was no chance that
Aristide could really be president,
even if restored by military force.
The Haitian generals, understand-
ing democracy U.S. style, could be
counted on for that. A rather large
number of grisly corpses had to
appear in the streets of Port Au
Prince before the population under-
stood exactly what was in store for
Aristide supporters. This prepara-
tory activity was sufficiently com-
plete some time ago, and now the
only real concern about the inva-
sion is whether it should be before
or after the November elections:
before the elections if it will furnish
the traditional blood-letting boost
U.S. presidents get in the polls from
invading a small country; after the
elections if any unforeseen messi-
ness might arise (too many body
bags, itinerant reporters filing
un app ro v e dp ho to s , e tc.)
And this brings us to the third
island in our story. Puerto Rico,
reasonably well domesticated since
first occupied by U.S. troops in
1898, cannot really be compared to
either Cuba or Haiti. While almost
a tenth of the Cuban population has
escaped from their island and per-
haps as much as another tenth wants
to leave, almost half of the Puerto
Rican population has escaped from4
their island. But there is no real
conceptual problem here. Puerto
Rico is a true democracy, meaning,
of course, that there are two wings
of the business party, and no chance
whatsoever that any representative
of workers, the poor or the power-
less might be nominated to stand
for election. In this particular case
one wing wants Puerto Rico to re-
main a colony of the United States
and the other wing wants Puerto
Rico to be assimilated into the
United States.
No problemwith elections here,

Ian Lester
LSA Senior

I

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